Little Silos, Little Silos | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Little Silos, Little Silos 

An idea for smaller nuclear plants. Racism sounds like, well, racism. Plus, full steam ahead for the renewable energy movement.

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Little Silos, Little Silos
It sounds like a great idea: Cute little nuclear plants so they don't scare you with the big silos and huffing water vapor—and, oh, the radiation risks. But yay, Utah, we get to be the guinea pig to see if it works. You have to ask at what cost and who's to benefit. Of course, they say it's the consumer because no one likes intermittent power—or pollution. It's not the cost, though. Wind and solar are about $38 per megawatt hour. This little guy will start at $66, according to the Deseret News and a study by Salt Lake City-based Energy Strategies. And that's the good news—there was a study. We won't bore you with the same old arguments for and against nuclear, but now enough communities have signed up for the euphemistic Carbon Free Power Project to push them toward licensing. The project still has to come in on time and on budget, which it won't. And no matter how small the project, there's still the sticky issue of what to do with all that n-waste.

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Sounds Racist to Me
If you say it often enough, it must be true. And hand it to LaVarr Webb, publisher of Utah Policy, to jump on that bandwagon. The Insulter-in-chief Donald Trump is just an "equal opportunity" insulter, he says. Like that's OK, anyway, for the man who represents the United States of America to the world. Maybe you think Webb was the first to come up with this idea, but you just might want to thank Hillary Clinton, her speechwriters or someone who was listening to Trump. Things are different now. Trump attacked the so-called Squad and admonished them to go back where they came from. Is that racism? Striking out at people who don't look or think like you feels racist. Trump might not think he's a racist because, well, Melania, and he doesn't carry a KKK card. But the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming.

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Renewable Movement
Someone might have hit the sweet spot for clean air, even as the federal government makes it harder to cut pollution. We know! It's the EPA, which used to be a soldier in the fight, exemplified by the "Protection" part of its name. But now, according to The New York Times, the EPA is changing its rule to make it harder for communities to regulate pollution from power plants and factories. Here in conservative Utah, the Legislature did pass HB411, the Community Renewable Energy Act, which is touted by the Sierra Club as "the Utah Way." And indeed it is. No community is required to do anything and if they do, they can later to opt out. But the move toward 100% renewables is spreading, and not even lawmakers could ignore it. The hope is now to make the case for renewables, which might not be that difficult after all.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

Bio:
A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

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